The Scottish Conservatives have accused the SNP of “deceiving voters” with a false plan that pretends Nicola Sturgeon will wait three months to demand indyref2.
Douglas Ross said voters had seen the same “con trick” from the SNP after every single election.
Based on the evidence from 2016 and 2019, the Scottish Conservatives said the SNP’s real 100 days plan would see them claim a mandate for indyref2, demand a Section 30 order, work on a new White Paper and railroad the Scottish Parliament with indyref2 bills.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “This is the same tired con trick we see every time from Nicola Sturgeon.
“She realises people across Scotland are sick fed up of the SNP taking their eye off the ball and pushing for another referendum, so she pretends they won’t immediately demand one.
“They’re claiming to be pausing independence for three months and expecting us to be grateful but they’re not being honest with voters. Everyone has seen this act before.
“All the evidence from past elections confirms that the SNP are deceiving voters and they’ll ramp up their calls for another referendum the first chance they get.
“If they win a majority, Nicola Sturgeon will claim a mandate for indyref2 by Monday. They’ll have demanded a Section 30 Order and started work on a new White Paper within weeks. Statement after statement will demand a referendum date before Scotland’s recovery from Covid.
“An indyref2 bill was the last thing they did in the previous Scottish Parliament term and it will be the first thing they do in the next term, unless pro-UK voters unite and use their peach ballots for the Scottish Conservatives to stop them.
“The only way to be sure of stopping their damaging plan to divide Scotland is by voters lending their party list votes on the peach ballot to the Scottish Conservatives.”
First 100 days after 2016:
- Speaking immediately after the election result, Sturgeon confirmed she would continue to make the case for independence. She said ‘On the question of independence, the SNP will make our case with passion, with patience and with respect. But our aim is to persuade, not to divide.’ (The Herald, 7 May 2016, link).
- On 8 May, Sturgeon said she would restart a campaign for independence. She said her manifesto pledge to start work on a drive that summer was backed by almost half the electorate, adding ‘It's a ridiculous notion to say that because the Conservatives managed to get scarcely over 20% of the vote that somehow the case for independence has taken a step back - the contrary is the case. There is an independence-supporting majority in the Scottish Parliament if you take the SNPs and the Greens. My manifesto said in certain circumstances the Scottish Parliament should have the right to propose another referendum.’ (Daily Record, 8 May 2016, link).
- On 17 May, Sturgeon again emphasised her support for independence in her speech after being voted in again as First Minister. She said ‘I have no desire to be First Minister for its own sake. I want to use the opportunity that I have as First Minister to change this country for the better. My passionate and lifelong belief that Scotland should be independent is well known and enduring. A majority of MSPs are from parties that support independence, but we know that Scotland will become independent only if and when a majority of the people are persuaded.’ (Official Report, 17 May 2016, link).
- A week later on 25 May, Sturgeon said her government would ‘build the case’ for independence. She said ‘As members will expect, we will also continue to build the case for Scotland to become an independent nation—a position that is backed by a majority of members of the Scottish Parliament across this chamber.’ (Official Report, 25 May 2016, link).
- On 26 May, Mike Russell said the SNP was focussed on independence. He said ‘Once again, the SNP is asserting our sovereignty, this time by making a positive case for Europe that is rooted in our desire to be an independent member, as befits an ancient nation. We assert our sovereignty not only by making that case but by refusing to be dragged out on the coattails of an increasingly raucous and isolationist campaign against membership.’ (Official Report, 26 May 2016, link).
- On 15 June, Sturgeon talked up the chances of an independence referendum after the EU referendum. She said ‘It would be a very serious mistake for the UK to vote to leave the European Union, and I think it would be democratically indefensible for Scotland, if we had voted to stay in, to face the prospect of being taken out…If we were to find ourselves in that position then I think people -- you know even people who don’t support Scotland becoming independent -- in all fairness could understand the sense of disquiet that there would be in Scotland over that.’ (Reuters, 15 June 2016, link).
- On 24 June, Sturgeon said an independence referendum was ‘highly likely’. She said ‘Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against her will. I regard that as democratically unacceptable…I think an independence referendum is now highly likely.’ (Reuters, 24 June 2016, link).
- On 30 June, Sturgeon repeated this her call for a referendum. She said ‘if I think—if Scotland thinks—that the best way to protect our position in the period that lies ahead is to look again at being independent, that is a right that Scotland should have.’ She also said ‘Since Friday, I have made it very clear that the independence option is very much on the table—it has to be on the table.’ (Official Report, 30 June 2016, link).
Post 2019 General Election:
Sturgeon made a statement to Parliament outlining that she wanted the powers for a referendum to be transferred
Sturgeon: ‘The election was comprehensively won in Scotland by the Scottish National Party. […] It was also an endorsement of our election message that Scotland does not want a Boris Johnson Government, that we do not want to leave the European Union and that, although opinions may differ on the substantive question of independence, we want Scotland’s future to be in Scotland’s hands.’ (Scottish Parliament, Official Report, 17 December 2019, link).
Sturgeon: ‘The fact is that this election demonstrated a fundamental point: the future that is desired by most people in Scotland is very clearly different to that which is favoured by much of the rest of the UK. It is therefore essential that a future that is outside Europe and governed by an increasingly right-wing Conservative Government is not foisted upon Scotland. Instead, we must have the right to consider the alternative of independence. That is why, later this week, in line with repeated election mandates—which were reinforced once again last Thursday—I will publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power from Westminster to this Parliament to allow for an independence referendum that is beyond legal challenge. This Parliament will also vote on the final stage of the Referendums (Scotland) Bill, which will put in place the framework for a future referendum.’ (Scottish Parliament, Official Report, 17 December 2019, link).
Sturgeon: ‘it is clear that there is a growing cross-party recognition that election mandates must be honoured, that there has been a material change of circumstances and that the question of independence must be decided by the people and not by politicians. Given the nature of what we are now facing in terms of UK governance, that is a matter of some urgency, which is why this Government wants people to have a choice next year.’ (Scottish Parliament, Official Report, 17 December 2019, link).
Sturgeon: ‘This Parliament has a duty to protect the values that people in Scotland voted for. I believe that we can only fully do that with independence, and that is why later this week I will take the next steps to secure Scotland’s right to choose.’ (Scottish Parliament, Official Report, 17 December 2019, link).
Sturgeon calls for a Section 30
Sturgeon: ‘We are therefore today calling for the UK government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament's right to legislate for a referendum on independence. I anticipate that in the short term we will simply hear a restatement of the UK government's opposition. But they should be under no illusion that this will be an end of the matter.’ (BBC, 19 December 2019, link).
Sturgeon: ‘The Scottish government has a clear democratic mandate to offer people a choice on that future in an independence referendum, and the UK government has a democratic duty to recognise that. The mandate we have to offer the Scottish people a choice over their future is, by any normal standard of democracy, unarguable.’ (BBC, 19 December 2019, link).
After the Section 30 was rejected – Sturgeon was still setting out plans to push for indyref2
Sturgeon: ‘I will continue to do all that I can to secure a referendum this year.’ (SNP, 31 January 2020, link).
Sturgeon: ‘Brexit has put Scotland on the wrong road. And the further down it we go, the longer it will take and the harder it will be to get back on the right one. We need back on the right road as soon as possible. To that end, we have informed Parliament this morning, that following the passage of the Referendums Bill at the end of last year and this week’s vote in favour of a referendum, we will ask the Electoral Commission to re-test the question – ‘should Scotland be an independent country?’’ (SNP, 31 January 2020, link).
Sturgeon: ‘In the coming months, the Scottish Government will publish the outcome of that work. The “New Scotland” series of papers will seek to provide the information and answers people want. They will provide detail on how Scotland can make the transition from a Yes vote to becoming an independent country.’ (SNP, 31 January 2020, link).